We did it!

IMG 5305

 But I will rewind and give the full scoop.

It all started over a few glasses of wine in March.  Our friends John and Ashley were over for the night and we started talking about doing a full marathon.  We have both done a few half marathons and were iffy on whether or not we thought doing a full was a good idea.  By the end of the night, and the end of wine, we were sold on the idea.  We figured now was as good of a time as any.  

Kara and Adam were coming over for dinner the following night so soon after they arrived, we started pushing the idea with them.  They were not hard to sell.  Kara and I have been running together since 6th grade and Adam is usually up for anything, especially when it comes to a sport.  By the time they left, they were signed up as well.  

It was a done deal.  Money was paid and registration was complete.  No turning back now.  So on we went. 

When looking for a training plan that fit Brady and my lifestyle, I was drawn to a three day/week running plan.  This was not a beginner plan but it was for busy people who can jump into greater distances without much trouble.  This seemed like a good plan for us because we already worked out and didn’t have time to add many running days into our life.  The long runs also matched up well with Kara/Adam and Ashley’s plans.  

There was speed work and cross training built into the plan which I really liked and allowed me to teach my fitness classes as part of training. 

I downloaded the new Polar HRM (heart rate monitor) app and loved how it tracked heart rate as well as distance.  

IMG 4574

I downloaded new music to keep us busy and we played all kinds of fun games through the training runs.  Our favorite thing to do when running for 2-3+ hours each weekend was to ask each other questions.  We would each come up with 8-10 questions that had involved answers and ask each other while we ran.  It was a great way to connect and distract ourselves.  I will do a post on great long run questions.  

I also used iRun app for tracking distance and average pace.  This app never quit or lost signal on me and it’s free! 

IMG 5039

This particular 20 mile run was done in Chautauqua while everyone was doing fun things like fishing….

IMG 5044

As summer led to fall, we kept up with most long runs.  We usually did them early on Saturday morning.

IMG 5157

 This meant our Friday nights were more low key but we had them out of the way before much was happening on Saturday.  It was like we had a weekly date, although not romantic. 🙂

One thing that I think really helped us during the race was all of our hill training.  Everywhere around the east side of Cleveland and Chautauqua is super hilly.  Spending 2-3 hours rolling up and down these hills every week made Columbus’ flat course feel so good!

IMG 5058

This hill in Gates Mills is no joke.  It was pure torture and came at the 19th mile of a 21 mile run.  

IMG 5166

But it only made us stronger! 🙂

For our longer runs, we used a Camelbak water pack, that Brady always carried.  This was enough for both of us.  We also took Cliff Shot Blocks during runs longer than 10 miles.  And  I chewed lots of gum 🙂 

When it came time to run the race, we were ready.  We tapered like we were supposed to, even though that was hard to do mentally because it didn’t feel like we should take such a break.  We fueled well and drank lots.  It was great!

Marathon Race Recap coming!